“Started from the bottom, now I’m here” The career of the biggest feedlot in Australia’s General Manager- Feedlots, Scott Braund
Scott Braund, General Manager at Mort & Co GM Feedlots, QLD
Growing up on a cattle property in Ebor, NSW, Scott Braund always knew agriculture would be part of his future – and as a young man fresh out of university, a dynamic career in the lot feeding industry beckoned.
“In 1994 the lot feeding industry had been in a huge initial growth stage,” Scott explains. “Rockdale Beef, Tabbita Feedlot, Killara Feedlot – they’d all been developed and it appealed to me. That was where the action was at in the beef sector.”
Launching Australia’s biggest greenfield development
Scott’s been part of that action for the best part of 30 years now. He’s the General Manager of Feedlots at Mort & Co, Australia’s largest privately-owned beef cattle lot feeding, management, and marketing company.
Scott’s seen plenty of highlights in his 18 years with Mort & Co, but says it’s hard to beat being part of what was then the biggest greenfield development undertaken for some time – Grassdale Feedlot.
“Not everyone is afforded an opportunity like that and I was fortunate to have a prominent position in that project – developing an asset that size from greenfield,” Scott said.
“It was a remarkable team of people who helped bring that together and it’s now the largest feedlot in Australia.
“Along the way Mort & Co also purchased other assets at Gunnee and Pinegrove and creating and integrating the three sites together has always been a big part of what I do.”
American experiences shape career
Scott landed his first job in the feedlot industry in 1995 – a pen rider and bunk reader at Jindalee Feedlot, then owned by Cargill Beef. Since then he’s done “pretty much every role in the feedlot,” he says.
By the late 1990s, Scott was managing Jindalee Feedlot and made several trips to Cargill’s U.S. cattle feeding business, Caprock Industries. The overseas experiences provided a wealth of knowledge he’s implemented throughout his career.
“Back then the sophistication and marketing systems compared to Australia was incredible,” Scott recalled.
“The U.S. focus on consistency in production was also a standout and I think that’s something we’re also now carrying through. Australia is definitely becoming more like the U.S. industry as life goes on and that’s not all good or all bad – they just have individual benefits and differences.”
The heart doesn’t lie
With food-producing agriculture in Australia continuing to grow and develop, Scott said there’s no shortage of opportunities ahead.
“We’re entering an age where a lot of the technologies that have just been talked about – things like automation – are actually beginning to commercialise in the agricultural field,” he said.
“Lot feeding isn’t a part of that yet so there’s some real excitement in that space.”
But at the heart of the industry – technologies aside – the biggest test of skill and dedication comes from what is core to lot feeding.
“Cattle never lie in terms of what sort of job we’re doing day to day,” Scott said.
Professionals in the Australian lot feeding industry who are required to apply specialised leadership and management knowledge and skills are encouraged to undertake an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management available on the industry’s dedicated online careers and training hub, Feedlot TECH, by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).